FALLS CHURCH, Va. - By the U.S. government's account, [Ahmed Abu Ali] Omar Abu Ali used his time studying in Saudi Arabia to plot the assassination of President Bush. But to supporters here, the young man's studies at Saudi Arabia's University of Medina were nothing more than a spiritual break before a settled life in American suburbia.
[Elsayed] recalled Abu Ali wanting to study abroad so that he could return and teach children the Koran. "He used to say, `Uncle, if there is something we should do to influence everybody, it is educate - we're not doing enough to educate people about who we are and what Islam is,'" he recalled Abu Ali saying.
Johari Abdul-Malik, the imam at the Dar Al Hijrah mosque, recalled Abu Ali helping organize interfaith activities there. He rejected the idea that Abu Ali was "an angry young person post-9/ 11" and accused the government of singling out Abu Ali to stir anti- Muslim sentiment, likening the case to the discrimination struggles of the 1960s.
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